With a growing business in greater Halifax, Vroom Crew is looking to long-term growth through a franchising model that could see it branch out to other cities.
Vroom Crew is a young company that takes the hassle out of getting your car cleaned. It lets vehicle owners book appointments online so a Vroom Crew team can come to their house or business and clean their car.
The company grew out of the Master of Technology, Entrepreneurship and Innovation program at Saint Mary’s University, where Founder and CEO Quinton Gorman entered the startup stream to develop his business idea. Over the last few years, he’s grown it into a business that has completed more than 500 service calls throughout Halifax Regional Municipality, or HRM.
“When we started, we didn’t have anything other than a couple of T-shirts and Vroom Crew hats, and we went and provided our service just with the idea that people would love it,” said Gorman in an interview. “Since that, we have got more traction across HRM.”
Vroom Crew offers car detailing services that leave vehicles looking good inside and out. The basic interior clean (covering everything from the dashboard to upholstery to floor mats to window interiors) is $75 and the packages go up to the $200 Platinum service which includes leather conditioning, wheel cleaning, steam cleaning and the like.
The key for the customer is the ease of booking and paying for the service, said Gorman. He said he’s learned that a key market is young families, who are so flat-out busy they don't have time to clean their cars. And kids tend to be messy.
Most of Vroom Crew’s growth has come in the past six months. The company has four employees and two trucks making calls, and Gorman anticipates adding a third truck in the spring.
He said the operation has a large tech component because the biggest challenge is enhancing the booking and paying system, and automating the customer notification system that alerts each client 30 minutes before their appointment.
Intending to raise capital later this year (with a target of $250,000), Gorman knows he has to present a plan for scaling the company. He believes growth can come from franchising. The automated platform can be the unique feature that allows franchise owners to grow Vroom Crew in other cities.
With the tech component in mind, 24-year-old Gorman entered the Propel IT accelerator to help grow the business. He’s already completed the first two phases of the program and is just entering Phase 3.
“It’s pretty cool to talk with people from all over,” said Gorman, who also participated in SMU’s Venture Grade venture capital program. “It’s interesting when I look back and think of all the people who have been there to support us. In Atlantic Canada, that is one thing we have going for us as young entrepreneurs.”